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Kenneth Byrd with associate designer Courtney Snyde Photo by Jay Paul
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Husband-and-wife team Kat and Mike Liebschwager. Photo by Sarah Walor
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Cathy Davis, surrounded by works from Richmond artists. Photo by Sarah Walor.
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Sara Garza with her Cockapoo, Lucy Photo by Jay Paul
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Patricia Bohl on a Kilim- covered ottoman. Photo by Sarah Walor
Long known for its fashion options and good eats, more than ever Carytown is also being recognized as a home décor destination. When it comes to furniture, art and accessories, there's much to choose from.
You can explore contemporary and antique selections, and see how upcycled, vintage and one-of-a-kind objects rub elbows with designer-selected finds from international markets.
The district is brimming with stores old and new.
Thomas-Hines Antiques has been on West Cary Street for more than three decades, while designer Kristi Lane's interior architecture firm Visible Proof opened an office at 3324 W. Cary St. in July.
We spent time with the owners of six Carytown shops. Their passions and their décor stores are as varied as Carytown—and equally inspiring.
Kenneth Byrd's retail shop Kenneth Byrd Design is nestled in DéCOR: Design Center of Richmond. "We're one of the newest kids on the block," Byrd says of his space, which opened in July selling Midcentury Modern pieces. "We want to offer fun and interesting conversation pieces for shoppers who crave a little something different." With a carefully curated mix of furniture and accessories, Byrd's shop specializes in modern and reinterpreted retro looks. The local shop owner credits Los Angeles-based designer Kelly Wearstler for inspiration, and some of her fabrics are framed and for sale in his space. A recent coup? The one-of-a-kind chairs Byrd purchased at Wearstler's Los Angeles warehouse. Hanging in his space is a hand-blown bubble chandelier of his own design that was featured on HGTV last summer. "We get orders every day for versions in all sizes," he says. "I'm proud our design is sought-after nationally." Kenneth Byrd Design is in DéCOR at 19 S. Belmont Ave. Fall Find Keno Bros. for Theodore Alexander desk, $1,100. "This desk represents a striking update to the Midcentury Modern aesthetic," Byrd says. His favorite elements: "Its brass accents and elegant rosewood top."
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Martin Rubenstein arrived in Richmond in 1977 from New York City, and for 23 years he has owned Martin Interiors, a full-service interior-design firm and store in Carytown. Located within a columned building that was once a Baptist church, Rubenstein's showroom is packed with in upscale furnishings and luxurious, neoclassical accessories. The shop is punctuated with gold leaf, black, turquoise and fuchsia flourishes, along with lush pillows and candelabras. Small accessories that are perfect for gift giving are also featured, from luxury soaps and cocktail wares to glamorous picture frames and throws. The shop owner is also an accomplished painter. Working in an impressionistic style, he showcases some of his works in the store. One painting, The Empty Room, illustrates his love for interiors. "We pride ourselves on our unique creativity on even the simplest of designs," Rubenstein says of his design team. Martin Interiors is at 3325 W. Cary St.
Lara grand candelabra, $499. "I think candles and candelabras add a dramatic touch anywhere — from bedrooms to kitchens to the outdoors," Rubenstein says.
Upholstered furniture, lighting, pillows and accessories grace the sales floor at Ruth & Ollie. "We fill the store only with items that we love," co-owner Mike Liebschwager says of the inventory, which is set in room scenes. "Right now our favorite pieces are decorative glass bowls and books that infuse color into a room." His wife and business partner, Kat Liebschwager — whose interior design firm is adjacent — is partial to a table lamp with brass accents and a green ceramic body. Two large display windows provide passersby with a taste of Ruth & Ollie's witty viewpoint. The owners change the window scenes every month. "Our goal when we opened was to create an inviting, fun place where people would love to visit," Mike says. Ruth & Ollie is at 3108 W. Cary St. Fall Find Green table lamp with brass accents by Ro Sham Beaux, $656. "It's new but looks vintage," Kat says.
Cathy Davis opened Orange on Cary Street in May as an outlet for Richmond's creative community. From art and vintage items to lamps and painted furnishings, the shop is all about local artists, Davis says. Adorning the shop are such wares as wire-and-burlap hanging lights by Libby Hiner's Rusticity line and small paintings by Susan Vinson of Silver Tree Art. Pastel vessels from Heart Core Glass by Kristi Totoritis bring a touch of whimsy to the sales floor, along with hand-inked pillows from RVA Pillow Works. Davis is always looking for work by local artists, and affordability is a goal. Many items at Orange can be customized, too. Davis, who moonlights as a designer, upcycles and transforms tired furniture. "These orders are really fun for me," she says. "They allow people to keep old items and turn them into statement pieces in a budget-friendly way." The colors she uses are sunny and vibrant — turquoise, yellow and, yes, even orange. Orange is at 3007 W. Cary St. Fall Find Skull pillow, $28. "I love these pillows," Cathy says. "The artist hand-prints the motifs in ink, and more designs are available."
Antiques shop owner Sara Garza has a passion for British, American and European-inspired furnishings, as evidenced by the internationally sourced antique mirrors, silver flatware and other items she stocks at her 16-year-old store. "Our niche is finding classical — yet never stuffy — treasures to add a bit of pizzazz indoors or out," Garza says of Sheppard Street Antiques. "Whether it's placing a garden statue in a foyer or enjoying one of our terrariums in your library, we love to share ideas." Garza delights in finding items overseas and bringing them to Richmond. White painted park benches from a small town in England are new to the store. "I picked them out and had them shipped over," Garza says. "I take great delight in learning as much as possible about the things we sell," Garza says of the late-19th-century diaries and marble sculptures in her 750-square-foot shop. "We find people are eager to hear the stories that go along with items." Sheppard Street Antiques is at 103 S. Sheppard St. Fall Find Maria Theresa chandelier, $2,400. "It came from a grand home in Mississippi," Garza says. "I saw the pictures of it in the mansion, and it was breathtaking there."
Shop cat Phoebe lounges on a sofa at Glass Boat, where nouveau-rustic accessories draw the eye and original portraits by Jennifer Holloway Bopst beguile curious customers. For nearly 15 years, the shop has sold furniture and accessories — and clothes and jewelry. "We have a little bit of everything," says general manager Patricia Bohl, adding that she is excited about two new arrivals: a swivel chair with faux-cork fabric and a large sectional covered in a cozy chenille blend. The shop also offers fine bedding by Bella Notte and hand-sewn, tie-dyed linens from Revenir. "We offer an eclectic mix of the old and the new," Bohl says. "We have quality furniture made in the USA along with special finds that have passed the test of time." For the special finds, owner John Hyatt frequents auctions and estate sales in the North East. "We go for anything that has an appeal," Bohl says of the antiques in the shop, which include an English bow-front chest from the mid-1800s and a French Art Deco chandelier with alabaster glass lighting shades. Glass Boat is at 3226 W. Cary St. Fall Find Sectional sofa by Lee Industries, $3,900. "This sectional's bench-back seats are down-wrapped, and it's upholstered in a chenille-down blend," Bohl says. "I love how it's rich without being too dark."